It’s a simple innocent suggestion I am making to you that beware, when a congressperson comes bearing a message that says ‘review.’ Beware, because the last time they said that word, sometime in year 2008, its consequences, with the chance to act it, were all of the unpleasant.
If you agree with the man controlling the purse who will make it happen or not happen, I can’t see how you can have any beef with the concept and how it is being concretised. Everything that has happened so far with free SHS has happened because the finance minister made the money available. As a competent person, he knows his boss has a passion for developing the motherland’s human capital. He knows he is where he is because he was developed into that capital.
Maybe the one who wants to ‘review’ does not appreciate the capital that he was developed by someone else’s free SHS. He craftily dodged paying SHS to go up north to access free SHS. And then when he had the opportunity to avail others of it, he went for a loan to put up structures because that was where the meat of cutback was. He never repaid a dollar of that loan yet he claims it as an achievement for borrowing for someone else to come and pay what he refused to pay.
In reviewing, ‘Petrol no yɛbɛ tsew do,’ became what? One-time NHIS premium ended as collapsed NHIS. Yes, collapsed as in the likelihood he will ‘collapse’ the free SHS just as he did the NHIS. Meanwhile, his appointed congress kin profited so much from collapsing the NHIS by chopping off it, to the extent that he can now campaign with that much money to contest him in search of congressperson to be voted for to become president.
One 2009-2016 review he would pursue, fronted by abodwesɛ was the name changing spree. They went on a rampage dumping heroes who had worked so hard to give the motherland a name. They wouldn’t touch the villain with a name. Kwame Nkrumah they would shout while burying his name under the airport he conceived, started building and would have completed as a showpiece. When I travelled across Africa in the early 1970s, only Addis Ababa airport came anywhere close to what Nkrumah started to which his successors added a bit.
NYEP was reviewed into GYEEDA, YEA in names and left with no money to run. Congresspeople chopped it into eatable parts and consumed everything including the bones. Their innovative dry tree crop farming failed miserably while their akɔnfɛm (guinea fowl) project flopped expensively.
Capitation grant, that one that was left for them to use to support basic education small, small was all chopped. Congresspeople, under the watch of the ‘I want to return’ man, chopped the capitation grant so mercilessly schools of the most vulnerable in society, children with disabilities, had to be closed for want of the grant. Poor me retiree, I still had to find something out of my less four hundred Ghana a month pension money to buy chalk for my school.
You all remember the scolding a poor head teacher who had asked for chalk because capitation grant was not forthcoming had to endure. They had asked her to thank congress for sending computers to a school without electricity supply to power the computers.
And what happened to the free bus ride for the basic schooling child? A mother scrapped it because her children riding in V8 didn’t need it while she found millions of Ghana cedis to paint the picture of her boss for maximum visibility in an electioneering campaign. Notoriously ‘rebranding’ they characterised that waste of scarce motherland resources.
The review of the LEAP was no better. Congresspeople deliberately went in search of their kind to become beneficiaries. That was smashing the noble and compassionate reasons for setting up the scheme. Where congress selfish interests rule, which is the case at all times when they rule, nothing else matters but that interest. They push it, foist it, impose it, and promote it with cruel gumption.
Feeding schoolchildren was converted by review into feeding congresswomen activists. Wherever a congress appointee by the want-to-reviewer found himself or herself the charge was to create, loot so the few would share. They struck out JHS children as beneficiaries while doubling enrolment figures, the extra cash going into the pockets of congress high and mighty.
Ɔsono Kokuroko’s social intervention programmes which passed as social investment to build human capital, not Senchi capacity that no one can account for in terms of yield. It is clear in every aspect of the programmes that ‘review’ turned out to be ‘collapse.’ That may be charitable; because it was all destruction. Congress free SHS review, is licence to kill it.
By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh